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January 4, 2004 PM


2 TIM 2:1-7

INTRO: The apostle Paul is now facing almost certain death at the hands of a Roman executioner. His appeals to Caesar have failed to win his freedom. His imprisonment is probably much harsher than Before. He is apparently not surrounded by a great host of friends. He is feeling very alone. Still, the Lords business must continue, and Timothy is in need of encouragement ... and wise advice. So, once again, he writes a brief letter to his dearly beloved son (1:2). Some of the issues mentioned are similar to those in the first of his letters to Timothy. But there seems to me to be more of the sound of personal encouragement to Timothy than before. As I read through this little letter, my thoughts were drawn to these words: Consider what I say... (2:7). And we should!

1. Paul longed to see Timothy ... his son in the faith - 1:3,4

a. the apostle prayed for Timothy without ceasing

b. the appropriateness of prayers for ones children - prayer for another person most assuredly

strengthens the bond and quality of relationship

c. he remembers Timothys tears - probably when they parted at some point

d. he had a great desire to see Timothy ... in turmoil we need our brothers

e. 2 Tim 4:9 & 4:21 emphasize Pauls longing to see Timothy

2. A possible problem for Timothy - embarrassment - 1:8

a. in some quarters preaching a crucified Jesus might be received with scorn

b. and if your best friend is a prisoner in Rome, your credibility might be open to question - note that people in Asia had turned away from Paul (1:15)

c. so, Timothy may have been struggling with both ministry and message

d. Pauls encouragement? Share in the afflictions of the gospel

e. 1:9-12 is a powerful part of Pauls reasoned plea for Timothy to continue

3. The promises of blessing at the end - 2:3-6

a. at 2:1 Paul had encouraged, Be strong....

b. he then uses three very common illustrations of enduring and the blessing to be gained at the end

aa. the soldier endures to gain the victory ... but must be committed

bb. the athlete endures to gain the victory ... but must keep the rules

cc. the farmer endures to gain the crop ... and enjoys the fruit of labor

c. no denying that ministry, message, conviction would bring suffering (3:12)

d. but the suffering was not pointless ... and the word would flourish (2:9)

e. too, Timothy needed to continue in the ministry of the word so that the elect would ultimately

obtain the salvation (2:10)

4. The detrimental effects of tolerating error - 2:15-18

a. the subject returns to the false teachers of whom he spoke in 1 Timothy

b. Timothy is to be diligent in his study and handling correctly the word

c. by contrast are the profane and vain babblings which foster ungodliness

d. and the effect is spreading as a canker - such godless speaking spreads to affect others ... the overthrow of their faith

e. 1 Cor 5:6 Paul had used the effects of leaven to warn of moral error

5. A description of the last days - 3:1-7

a. the days of which he spoke were the days in which he was living!

b. he described them as perilous times

c. in the descriptions is lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God

d. he acknowledges that they will be religious - they would go through the forms ... but would not permit the power of the word and godliness to work in their lives

e. 3:7 describes a condition not perhaps all that unfamiliar ... ever learning, ever studying ... but never coming to that place where knowledge takes hold in the behavior of ones life

6. The tragedy of apostasy - 4:3,4

a. sound doctrine has been very much on Pauls mind in both letters

b. disciples will find teachers who teach what they want to hear - no longer desiring the truth

c. this reminds me of the Israelites who sought prophets who would tell them things that were

pleasant ... but would reject a Jeremiah who preached truth

d. too often this has been seen in the history of the Lords church

e. and it is at work, even now, among disciples of the Lord

Close: I want to close our thoughts with a part of a verse ... 2 Tim 2:19. Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. This, my friends, is the only way we will be suitable for the Masters use! We need to consider what Paul says.

Cecil A. Hutson

04 January 2004

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)